A potent and effective global response is required to protect world citizens against proliferation of illegal drugs and precursor chemicals, National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole said.
He made the remarks addressing delegates at the opening ceremony of the Interpol second Global Drugs and Illicit Substances Conference in Cape Town this week. More than 400 delegates from 194 member countries, international organisations, the SAPS and SA government departments are attending.
Sitole said the increase in drug use and drug trafficking continues to affect every region globally.
“This phenomenon threatens to cripple society and destroy its moral fibre, particularly our youth, the future leaders of our respective countries,” he said.
The quantity of drugs seized worldwide daily, Sitole said, continues to increase.
“Illegal drug trafficking generates enormous profits for the illegal trafficker, the crop grower, the petty dealer in the neighbourhood, the money launderer and those who support them. It generates immediate income and makes an attractive substitute for legitimate employment,” he said.
The conference, themed “Pushing new frontiers for more effective global drug enforcement”, is expected to provide a fitting platform for new and emerging trends and patterns of illegal trafficking, cybercrime, virtual currencies used in the trade of illegal substances and narcotics trafficking, new psychoactive substances and the diversion of precursor chemicals.
The methods Interpol and law enforcement agencies devote to enhance international capacities to efficiently respond to this criminality will also be discussed.
The global conference brings together law enforcement officials, experts and representatives of key regional and international bodies playing a crucial role in the fight against illegal drug trafficking, to gather and share high level expertise and experience to curb this crime.
The SA government has declared tackling the constant challenges of drugs, gangsterism and violence a high priority. Sitole said the conference provides an opportunity for the country to discuss with its global counterparts existing government reforms and criminal justice programmes to turn the tide against crime and drugs.